The weekly neighborhood Roller hockey games at William Passannante Ballfield have been a fixture in Greenwich Village for over 20 years. It is completely free and open, and attracts players from all walks of life: downtown bankers, inner city children, doctors, musicians, hair dressers, lifelong New Yorkers and recent immigrants. It is a wonderful Village tradition, but is now in jeopardy because of a campaign waged by a single downtown resident. Please don’t allow this lone voice to drown out the voices of the hundreds of positive interactions the game has created and the 20 years of positive impact on the neighborhood.
Top 10 reasons to keep open hockey in Greenwich Village.
• It is a neighborhood game and is the only game of its kind in the city. It’s completely open, free and anyone can join
• In all of those years, there have been no reports of injuries or property damage
• Players have been excellent neighbors, cleaning the park after each use, purchasing special boards for safety, shoveling snow in the winter
• It brings together people from all different backgrounds, which is what NYC is all about and why the Village, in particular, is so cool
• Players sponsor charity games for at-risk inner city youth and have raised $15K in the past year alone
• Virtually no complaints have ever been brought to the attention of players. Whenever there have been issues, we’ve addressed them immediately. In fact, the only reason the Parks Dept has received any complaints recently is not because of any organic groundswell of community opinion, but is the results of a campaign by a lone, disgruntled resident
• The space is virtually empty most of the year and is completely empty from mid-October to mid-March due to the weather. In a city where space is at such a premium, it would be a complete waste and tragedy to have this wonderful Park go unused
• There are no other comparable venues to move to (nor should we have to). It is a fenced-in space, which goes unused most of the year, and there are no grounds for discrimination against hockey players when the Parks Dept grants exclusive use of the space to other groups, including touch football, ultimate Frisbee, softball, among others.
• We are only asking for 3 hours, twice per week. There is plenty of time and space for everyone to enjoy the park!
Let’s work together to find a solution and keep this hockey traditional alive in Greenwich Village. The hockey games are inclusive to all members of our community and anyone willing can join the game. We will continue to make every effort to comply with the Parks & Recreation Department’s guidelines for Use of Field and Court Space, and the Rules of the City of New York Parks & Recreation. We invite you to visit one of our games to see how we respectfully contribute to the cityscape. As proud and caring members of our community, we feel that the campaign of a single complainant should not be allowed to shut out hockey players from a park which allows multiple uses. During our charity tournament this year, over 600 spectators signed a petition to continue allowing hockey games on the court. It would be a shame for the neighborhood to lose this unique and beloved tradition which fosters inclusiveness, teamwork and community spirit.